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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  August 29, 2017 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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correction from a couple of minutes ago when i was talking about michael beschloss about president trump visiting texas today to check on the response to the storm. i said that president trump was in houston. he wasn't in houston. he was in corpus christi and austin but not in houston. sorry about that misfire on my part. tonight or early tomorrow, this storm is set to make its second landfall at the louisiana/texas border. we've got eyes on that tonight and also eyes on houston itself as they try to open up a second mega shelter as that convention center teams with twice as many people as they were set up for there. we had a report earlier from there, a live report from there earlier this hour about people not getting into the main part of the convention center and sleeping around its periphery. people not able to get into that building. hopefully some of that crowding will be alleviated with the second shelter opening up in the arena where the houston rockets play. now it's time for "the last
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word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, rachel. >> such a sad kind of loss. people losing everything that they've held dear. i mean, objects that they've held dear. souvenirs, all that kind of stuff. just floated away. it's just -- it's such an impossible thing to imagine going through. >> and flooding is always a persistent disaster anyway. anything that gets flooded is a disaster for a long time. >> yeah. >> for them to be in day five of this storm looking ahead tonight to a second landfall, to more rain, to further flooding but the water's not yet receding, the duration of this one is particularly cruel and this is going to be a long, long time digging out. >> yeah. you're one of the thousands of people in a shelter in and around houston tonight and no one can tell you, no one can tell you how long you might expect to be there, when you might next have something that
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you will call a home. >> that's right. because as flooding is hard anyway, but houston with flooding this widespread in such a gigantic metropolitan area, it's going to change houston forever. it's going to change that region for a long time to come. this is something with he have to take very seriously in terms of a national sized emergency. that's going to go on for a really long time. >> rachel, later on in the show we have michael isikoff. he's reporting that there's a movement in the national house intelligence committee to get president trump eventually as a witness testifying to that committee. it's going to be interesting. >> i would love to follow the course of that subpoena. >> yeah. we'll see how that one goes. thank you, rachel. >> thank you, lawrence. today president trump visited texas but he forgot to bring any empathy with him but he did bring a hat, a hat that is for sale. >> i thought i was going to die. like, i felt like this was the
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last day i was going to live, the last day i was going to see my son, breathe. i felt like this was the end. >> we won't say congratulations. we don't want to do that. we don't want to congratulate. we'll congratulate each other when it's all finished. >> he seems to be just concerned about optics. i wish they would be concerned about people. >> we want to do it better than ever before. we want to be looked at in five years and ten years from now as this is the way to do it. >> he didn't hug a mom or hold a baby or shake someone's hand or ask a senior how they were doing. it was typical donald trump without an ounce of empathy. >> had there not been for harvey, the president would be tweeting about the various russia stories breaking in the last two days. >> mueller is going after this like he's investigating the gambino family. >> it clouds your judgment and makes you choose between your family and your country.
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>> so the president went to texas today. as politico reports, he did not meet a single storm victim, get close to a flooded street. this is explained by what he said in a tweet in 2012 after hurricane sandy. obama will be seen today standing in water and rain like he is a real president. don't fall for it. so no standing in water and rain for donald trump today. 12 years ago today, thousands and thousands of people from new orleans found salvation in houston as they fled hurricane katrina. new orleans is still rebuilding from hurricane katrina and now houston is flooded as it has never been before from hurricane harvey, which has killed at least eight people now. we don't know what the final death toll will be. it is likely to be higher. there may be some people who may have drowned who will not be found for weeks. the fourth largest city in america is under water tonight
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and we don't know when we will see it again. we don't know how long it will take for the waters to subside. we don't know how long it will be before we see the highways and the houses and the buses and the bicycles and the televisions and the toys that are now under water. 9,000 people have taken shelter in the houston civic center. many of them have lost every single thing. every object that mattered to them. every single thing that they loved. children's artwork on their refrigerators washed away forever. laptops with family foet dprpho destroyed. lost forever. the luckier ones didn't lose any loved ones but they've all lost a lot. this is the stuff of human tragedy. there are bright spots of heroism but it's born of horrific disaster and tragedy and in that tragedy stepped today the president of the
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united states. >> we won't say congratulations. we don't want to do that. we don't want to congratulate. we'll congratulate each other when it's all finished. we have had a tremendous group of folks, our acting director, elaine, thank you very much for the job you've done, and a man who really has become very famous on television the last couple of days, mr. long. >> what a crowd. what a turnout. >> if you think the president's language was a little too celebratory about sudden fame that can happen to people during hurricane coverage, a fame no one should welcome. if you think the president missed the mark and was undignified, then you might also want to think about what the president was wearing. that hat is for sale. on a trump website. so the president used today's hurricane coverage to promote trump merchandise. just as he uses the presidency every day to promote all things
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trump that have a price tag on them. hotel rooms, restaurant meals, golf courses. that hat is for sale on the president's campaign website. the $40 that you send to the campaign to buy that hat will be used to pay for some of the costs of donald trump's next rally or it can be used to pay for donald trump's criminal defense lawyers who are representing him in the special prosecutor's investigation, which according to one report, is getting closer and closer to the president himself. one of the deaths in houston ignored by president trump is police sergeant steve perez who had been missing since sunday morning. >> we can't find him and once our dive team got there, it was too treacherous to go under and look for him. so we made a decision to leave officers there waiting until the
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morning because as much as we wanted to recover him last night, we could not put another one officer at risk for what we knew in our hearts would be a recovery mission. >> president trump did not mention sergeant perez today. and he has not tweeted about sergeant perez today and he has tweeted about some unrelated, idiotic trumpian things. hurricane harvey now a tropical storm has broken the record for the most rain of any storm in the continental united states ever. harvey could make a second landfall near houston tomorrow morning. the red cross says 17,000 people are in shelters across texas tonight. here's houston's mayor sylvester turner this afternoon. >> with respect to shelters, we have expanded our capacity. the reality is that not only are
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we providing shelter for houstonians but we're providing shelters for people coming outside the city of houston who have been directly impacted by the storm. we're not turning anybody away. >> joining us now is james fellow, national correspondent, and former white house press secretary for president obama and also an msnbc political analyst. josh, i wanted to get your reaction to the way the president handled himself in texas today. >> let me start by saying that as an 18-year-old young man in 1993, i moved to the city of houston to attend college and i lived in houston for a couple of years after i graduated. the first job i had in politics was the houston's mayor's race in 1997. it's a community that i know well. i have loved ones there today and it's a city that is struggling and tonight we're y praying for the people in that city as we have been for the
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last several days. when it comes to the president's conduct, lawrence, i had an opportunity to travel with president obama on numerous occasions, unfortunately, to communities who had sustained significant damage from a storm. just over a year ago, president obama was on the ground in a suburb outside of baton rouge, louisiana, surveying a community that had recently sustained terrible flood damage. everybody who observed president obama on that trip watched him interact with the local officials, watched him interact with local first responders, watched him interact with people whose lives had been upended by tragedy. recognized that that trip was not about barack obama. that trip was about the president of the united states. the person holding that office. offering support and ongoing resilience to that community. to make sure that they understood that the rest of the
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court stood with them in their darkest hour. and i hope that in spite of president trump's refusal or at least misstetake in omitting reference to those who have lost so much in this tragedy, that the people of houston understand that the rest of this country, as symbolized by the president's visit, are standing with them in this dark hour and will be standing with them long after the television cameras leave and we're ready. we've got your back. we'll be there with you as you recover from this terrible tragedy. >> let's listen to another press secretary, ari fleischer, george w. bush's press secretary. let's hear what he had to say about this today. >> there was something missing from what president trump said. i hope he'll say it later today but that's the empathy for the people who suffer. that, in my opinion, should have been the first thing that he said, was that his heart goes out to those people in houston who are going through this and the government is here to help them recover from this. and secondly, the job of the
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president is to thank those who are the first responders. >> james fellows, you worked for president carter and these are the nights when we're talking about how a presidency is conducted, it's really invaluable to have people who worked in the white house for the president. can you imagine jimmy carter or any other president complimenting someone about how much time they've spent in television coverage and how famous they're getting as a result of this kind of coverage of a tragedy? >> it is extraordinary, as josh was pointing out. and you, too. i think of it as sort of three layers of tasks that a president faces with this kind of a disaster. the first is the very long-term effort of rebuilding a city or industry. that's going to take a long time, years, maybe even decades. that's the hardest of all to do. we'll see how the trump administration fairs with that. the second, which most presidents would have done today or in the last two or three days, is to speak for the nation. as job earnest was saying,
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there's a responsibility that the president has to express the wishes of the entire country in solidarity and sympathy and support and long-term hope. we saw george w. bush was interviewed informally today and he in 30 seconds rattled off from the top of his head that kind of supportive message that ronald reagan gave after the challenger explosion and barack obama gave after many disasters and george w. bush gave after 9/11. the third thing that presidents usually do and human beings do is have empathy and warmth with people who have lost everything. politicians do things as stage people but most of us have that vibe of fueling, as bill clinton put it, feeling your pain, of just wanting to hold people and see them and bear witness and say that i am the representative of the country but i also am a person. and i'm here to say you've been through something terrible and i'm here to offer support and
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sympathy and people are better or worse at that. richard nixon wasn't so great. the fact that donald trump didn't even try one of these two things to speak for the country or to deal with the people, there's something unusual about him as a person that i think we saw today. >> let's listen to what james just mentioned. george w. bush, and what he had to say. >> i know there's some people from houston here. and in the houston area. and i know you're going through a really tough time. and just know that there will be a lot of people that are going to help you. a lot. the country -- right now, they're recovering and so the key thing on the recovery is to keep people safe. and then there's going to be rebuilding and if you're from that area, you'd be amazed at the people who come down there to help. all kinds of people. and so the days are dark now but
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they're going to get better. >> and josh earnest, that was not news footage, that was not president bush going somewhere where he was expecting to make a public statement to texas for the nation, that was captured on personal video at that football field. >> i think it's a natural human response and i also think those are the kinds of leadership qualities that we typically look for in a president and this is he have dend that these are the kind of things that transcend party. this is what we expect of democratic and republican presidents, what we expert of american presidents. and look, lawrence, i think the other part of this that is important for people to understand, it's easy to dismiss these sorts of visits as mere photo ops. let's be honest, that's what they are. but it's important, as the president of the united states, whether that's george w. bush or barack obama, puts their arm around a police officer or puts their arm around somebody whose home has been destroyed in a flood. that is sending a signal to all of the millions of other people who live in southeast texas that
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the country stands with you. the country won't forget about you. the country understands that what you're going through is arduous and painful and will take a long time to recover and that we will stand with you as you do. these -- this is a situation where that image is every bit as powerful as the words and, unfortunately, during president trump's day-long visit today, we didn't see either the image or the words expressing that important sentiment. >> and james, perhaps -- definitely it's more important than all of this. there's absolutely no evidence that president trump has the vaguest idea of how to put the machinery of government to work for those people. >> indeed. there's been a rhetorical emphasis on government of being bad and the cradle, et cetera, et cetera, over the past decade or more from his party. but also, in the past now eight months of his refusal to staff up the government, to something
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that is better to have all of these posts standing vacant. and so this is the time when we see a local government, these brave policemen, the firefighters, the local news organizations, we see citizens. we see the way in which a public infrastructure actually matters and will for years to come. it matters at the federal level, too. so we'll see whether people around him are able to, we hope, get the machine moving. >> james fallows and josh earnest, i really appreciate you joining me tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, is donald trump going to be called to testify to congress? michael isikoff has the latest on that. so, your new prescriptin does have a few side effects. oh, like what? ♪ you're gonna have dizziness, ♪ nausea, and sweaty eyelids. ♪ and in certain cases chronic flatulence. ♪ no. ♪ sooooo gassy girl. ♪ so gassy. if you're boyz ii men,
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michael isikoff reports tonight that, quote, a key democrat on the house panel needs to seek testimony from felix sayer in light of newly disclosed e-mails about a trump tower project in moscow that was being pursued during the early stages of last year's presidential campaign. this is a bright light in an ever growing constellation of contacts between donald trump and russia. democratic congressman eric swallel told yahoo news. and a relevant witness may have
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been a pif tell player and the committee will likely have to go further to resolve the questions around this issue including seeking testimony directly from the president. we don't want to be reckless, says slalwell and it looks like he, president trump, is likely relevant. also tonight, the senate judiciary committee and donald trump jr. have agreed to a date for a transcribed interview behind closed doors about his meeting with a russian lawyer and several other people, including other russians at trump tower, including a man suspected of having ties to russian intelligence. the president's son will not be under oath and we don't know the exact date of that interview but politico reports tonight that a source familiar with the matter said the testimony would likely owe occ occur in the next few weeks. joining me is michael isikoff
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and former prosecutor and msnbc contributor. michael, this report that you have from eric swalwell says it would make sense to include him on the witness list. will that require the cooperation of republicans on the committee in order to get president trump to testify? >> sure. and there's inevitably going to be conflict about that. look, to some extent, swalwell is stating the evidence. this entire investigation is about potential links between trump associates and the russian government. the central question is ultimately going to be what did the president know about such contacts and when did he know them. and the only way ultimately that you can get responses to those questions is to question the president himself.
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now, whether politically you can pull it off, you know, that's a whole other question. obviously to the extent that republicans remain behind the president, they would resist. right now they control the house and the senate. so it's not likely. but as the pressure builds and as more and more evidence comes out and if you get conflicts in the testimony that the committee gets from some of the participants, it's hard to see how they don't get the president's testimony. >> jill, isn't that the point, that it's going to be a matter of how the evidence develops and if it develops to the point of -- as michael says, conflict in the testimony or incriminating testimony about the president that only he can resolve, that's when you can develop a momentum where it becomes difficult to resist the demand that the president testify. i'm not saying the president
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couldn't resist it but that the republican members of congress at some point may have to say, yes, this testimony is required. >> every time i ask when is enough sufficient, i am surprised by how much the president can get away with. so, yes, he may not ever really have to testify because the republicans may not have the courage to force them to but it is a logical next step. we definitely need to know. and the difference between when he says something in public, even if he's lying and many of the statements he's made seem to be lies, in conflict with other people's testimony but if he says it under oath, then it's a crime. so he either has to contradict what he's said in the past or in conflict with prior testimony. that's the danger with him testifying and everybody would
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like him to testify under oath. >> i want to point out, it is a crime to lie to congress in any investigative session that they're doing, whether it's under oath or not. and so whether he's under oath or not, he's still exposed to what is in effect possible perjury charge, even though it's technically called something else. if he's not under oath lying is similar to lying to an fbi agent. i want to hear what adam schiff said about this. >> the president had a financial interest, a potential financial interest in doing business with russia during the course of the presidential campaign and that financial interest may have caused the president to have a pro-russian foreign policy during the campaign. the president was being less than truthful about pursing business during the campaign. this was part of a pattern that we've seen not only with the president but with his son and others being less than truthful when it comes to russian ties.
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>> michael, that's the case. the question is, will the pressure continue to build in that direction? >> if you just look at the record here on what trump has said about the various issues that relate to these e-mails, trump, of course, famously said in the interview with lester holt last year, i have zero interest this year, nothing to do with russia. he actually did respond to questions under oath in a deposition about felix sater, the twice convicted felon who actually pitched the whole trump tower and moscow idea and he said i wouldn't know him if he walked into a room. there are multiple pictures of trump with him, breaking ground for trump soho. sater had a business card that
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listed his office at trump tower and identifying him as a senior adviser to donald trump when allen garten was asked about this last year, he said the business card was in 2010 and the arrangement that sater had with the trump organization ended six months later. well, these e-mails show sater pitching a project in late 2015 and early 2016 to the trump organization. so there are a lot of reasons to question the credibility of the statements that the president and his top people have made about this for quite some time. >> jill, i've got an important question tonight about a report on subpoenas from the special prosecutor's office. robert mueller has subpoena's a spokesman for paul manafort
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demanding records related to his work with manafort, seeking that testimony. also subpoenaing a former lawyer for manafort has also received the subpoena. this goes straight to the attorney-client privilege. jill, what are the exceptions in the attorney-client privilege that allow a former lawyer, paul manafort, to be subpoenaed. >> there are a few, not very many. it's really a bond that is hard to brake. but, for example, if they were engaged in a business deal together, outside their attorney-client relationship, which it does seem that some of trump's lawyers were business employees of his. that would not be covered by the privilege. if they were won spconspireing commit a crime, that would not be covered. if they were plotting something that violated federal law or
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state law, that wouldn't be covered. so there are a few things that could be but without any more information, it's really speculation as to whether the attorney for anybody could ever be forced to testify against that client. >> so just getting this out for a little bit, this is one of paul manafort's former lawyers. if that lawyer resists the subpoena, do they end up in some kind of evidentiary hearing in court where it is revealed or revealed to us publicly why that lawyer is actually getting subpoenaed? >> it could be. and, of course, there is a lot of pressure now to have some of these witnesses who are cooperating in closed-door sessions to be public in their testimony because the public has a right to know before the elections what is going on. we shouldn't jump to the c conclusion that something criminal has happened but there's enough suspicion that you can't help but do that. they are acting guilty.
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the president does everything that makes him look guilty. his son looks guilty. that's just something that can only be taken care of if they testify in public and can explain themselves in some way. so, yes, it's quite possible that we could find out why exactly the attorney is being questioned. >> and michael, we have at the same time the democrats are developing the possibility of demanding president's trump testimony. we have at least one republican in congress trying to pass an amendment basically on a budget bill to limit the special prosecutor's investigation, saying that it must end in six months, saying that it can't investigate anything that happened before the presidential campaign. >> yeah. i don't think that has much prospect of passing. evangelical if house republicans were going to go down the line and keep that in the house bill,
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i can't imagine the senate doing the same, especially given the frosty relationship that the president has with republican senators at the moment. >> yeah. and it remains to be seen how many votes it would get in the house at that point. >> sure. >> michael, jill, thank you for joining me. >> thank you, lawrence. coming up, the new sheriff in town. the sheriff who beat joe arpaio in his last election. it's time for a getaway. the lincoln summer invitation is on. now get our best offers of the season. on the agile mkc. and the versatile midsize lincoln mkx. or go where summer takes you in the exhilarating mkz. hurry in it's the final days of the lincoln summer invitation sales event. ending september 5th. right now, get zero percent apr plus 1,000 dollars summer savings on the lincoln mkx, mkc and mkz. for 100 years, heritage and innovation have made gillette the #1 shave in america.
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mr. president, what are you going to do about north korea? >> we'll see.
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we'll see. >> that was the president at the white house at 8:00 a.m. this morning on his way to texas. tonight, north korean leader kim jong-un delivered a new threat in response. kim jong-un called the latest missile test over japan a meaningful prelude to containing guam. tonight, the united nations held an emergency meeting and condemned the missile strike over japan as an outrageous threat and said that pyongyang not launch any more missiles. at his rally last week in find ni phoenix, the president believed that kim jong-un had a new found respect for the united states and president trump. >> kim jong-un, i respect the fact that i believe he is starting to respect us. i respect that fact very much.
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respect that fact. >> joining us now, christopher dickey, daily beast and msnbc contributor and max boots, former foreign policy adviser for campaigns of john mccain and marco rubio. there he was a week ago thinking there was a new found respect. >> max is laughing. well, in fact, it's almost funny. i mean, it's sad. i think if you look at the pictures that kim jong-un's press people have put out of him laughing, joyously as these missiles are going up, i don't think they -- >> there's the picture. go ahead. >> i don't think that shows him looking particularly intimidated by donald trump or rex tillerson or american policy. i think he understands perfectly well that unless russia and china were to get on board with the united states for much harsher measures than they have
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ever been willing to do or show any signs of willingness to do, not much is going to happen to him to change his mind. in the meantime, he's at the center of the world attention. he is making little north korea this cruddy little country with no resources virtually, the world figure on the world stage. so of course he's laughing. >> there was a north korean news publication that released that photo tonight. i want to go back to what rex tillerson said about the north korean situation last week. listen to this. >> i think it is worth noting that we have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of north korea since the unanimous adoption of the u.n. security resolution. i want to take note of that, i want to acknowledge it. i am pleased to see that the regime and pyongyang has certainly demonstrated some level of restraint that we've not seen in the past.
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>> max, it almost seems like that was taken in north korea as a challenge. >> well, it's kind of pathetic that this administration is so desperate for its mission accomplishment moment, if two days go by they say north korea is behaving and clearly that's not the case at all. this was really just showing how hallow trump has rolled out this fire and fury and lock and loaded. kim jong-un is not scared about that because he has a formidable convention of force and 10,000 artillery forces trained and steve bannon acknowledged as he was going out the door, it's obvious to anybody who understands the situation and kim jong-un understands the situation. >> and chris, the bannon comments were essentially from deep inside the trump white house saying there's absolutely no military option there that
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doesn't get too many south koreans killed instantly. therefore, there's no military option. >> there's no military option that doesn't get a lot of south koreans killed and americans based there killed. there's no question about that. but that doesn't mean that donald trump will eventually accept the idea that north korea is a nuclear power within the intercontinental ballistic missiles. is donald trump the kind of man who can accept that? can he listen to the people or really listen to the people and say who lost north korea? who put us in a position we're endangered by this madman, kim jong-un? i'm not sure he will and that creates an incredibly dangerous situation. >> max, what is the reasonable counsel now to the president in this situation? >> i think the only thing we can do reasonably at this point is to do the same thing that we did with the soviet union. remember, we're very alarmed
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right now that the north koreans have maybe a dozen, two dozen nuclear weapons and they are about to acquire the ability to put it on an icbm that can hit the united states. but the soviets had that capability for decades and nobody in his right mind talked about a pre-emptive strike on moscow to wipe out the threat. what we relied on was deterrence. i'm convinced we don't have any other option with north korea. it's not a great option because you're seeing now with the ballistic missile test over japan, north korea is a scary place. they are dangerous and unpredictable. at the end of the day, i don't see anything to indicate that they are suicidal. kim jong-un does not have any desire to become a martyr. he just wants to stay in power and enjoy his ill-gotten gains, basically, and i think he understands he may have a few dozen nuclear weapons and i give him the strong hand but we have thousands of nuclear weapons. if he attacks south korea or japan, we have the capability to wipe him from the face of the earth and i think he's smart
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enough not to do that. he's basically playing a game to get as much as he can as christopher said. i mean, it's this rinky dink country would no other resources. i think we need to be sure we don't get carried away and overreact and put ourselves out on a ledge the way trump has done with all of this over the top rhetoric saying he's going to stop them from getting nuclear weapons that can hit us, lo locked and loaded. it escalates this war of words and does not help in any way. >> kim jong-un is trying to do what, is the question, because as he does these things, he gets more sanctions and life becomes more difficult in north korea. well, i think eventually he believes the world will have to come around. it will accept that he has this arsenal, that he can be deterred so he doesn't have to be completely eliminated and then he's in a much more powerful
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position to negotiate and also to intimidate south korea. once we accept that north korea has a nuclear arsenal and we live with that, how can south korea deal with that? south korea is really his goal, much more than anything else. >> max and chris, thank you for joining us. really appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, what a former speechwriter for george w. bush calls the, quote, most forthright incitement of the trump era. how do you chase what you love
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what do you say to your critics, even some in your own party, who say it was the wrong thing to do? >> well, i let people think it was the right thing to do. sheriff joe is a patriot, loves our country. sheriff joe protected our borders. and sheriff joe was unfairly treated by the obama administration. >> in "the washington post" today michael gersten said, "the arpaio pardon constitutes the most forthright racist incitement of the trump era. complacency is permission. resistance is required. any party that swallows the trump/arpaio ethic will be poisoned." still, most congressional republicans remain silent on the
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arpaio pardon. senator dean heller of nevada joined john mccain and jeff flake in disagrees with the joe arpaio pardon. >> i just don't believe anybody is above the law. i don't like it when bush did it and obama did it and i certainly don't like it now. >> the people of maricopa county, arizona, made their opinion of joe arpaio clear in last year's election. he was defeated by almost 13 points in his re-election campaign. the new sheriff who defeated joe arpaio promised to bring a new approach to law enforcement and end what he calls the costly disgraceful practice. the new sheriff of maricopa county joins us next. it, what, ? i was having a good round, and then my friend, sheila, right as i was stepping into the tee box mentioned a tip a pro gave her. no. yep. did it help? it completely ruined my game. well, the truth is, that advice was never meant for you.
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fls a new sheriff in town. and he joins us now. sheriff paul of maricopa county arizona who defeated sheriff arpaio in the election last november. i want to you listen to something that president trump said yesterday about joe arpaio and i want to get your reaction to this. >> yes, sir. >> when i mentioned him the other day. you saw the massive crowd we had. the people went crazy when i said what do you think of sheriff joe. the place went absolutely crazy. so i stand by my pardon of sheriff joe. and i think the people of arizona who really know him best
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would agree with me. >> sheriff, the president seems to think joe arpaio is the most popular guy in arizona how did you beat him by 13 points if the people of arizona are such fans of joe arpaio. >> obviously our community felt otherwise. the victory in november was considerable, because of the actions that have gone on for many years. this was not a popularity contest. informs a contest to determine who was best suited to lead public safety on the community we have. although that room may have been supportive of in decision in community is not. because there are still a lot of healing to do, a lot of losses both financial and otherwise that have affected us adversely. >> that's the mistake the president makes all the time if the people in this room are all trump fans agree with president trump nonthe world agrees or the whole state of arizona. talk about what the voters were in effect revolting against in the last election during the arpaio experience.
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it was a very expensive experience for these voters, wasn't it? >> it was. the contempt hearing was really the conclusion of a lot of just bad policing, politicly driven decisions. and what turned out to be not public safety but political agendas. over the course of the final few terms we had cases nearly 400 that were crimes against children not properly investigated under my predecessor additionally it cost us over $70 million to the taxpayers to address lawsuits and legal fees due to the civil rights violations which under any terms are unacceptable. we in law enforcement have an obligation. that's to ensure that we stand and define the constitution and laws and what they are and never ever violate those. because if we do we lose the public trust. this litany of things he did which was more about politics than police policing led to the ultimate outcome which was a community that had enough and was ready to move forward. again it wasn't about the person whether you like that person or not. it was about the person who was
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inept at the job of being sheriff which for all of us is far too important. >> and some of the points you made since you've taken office is that there is two things, what joe arpaio was doing wrong and was unconstitutional. and that's been fairly well publishized. and then there is the things he wasn't doing, all the normal pur suits of law enforcement that he was not doing or wasn't doing adequately. talk about some of those. >> well, the problem is this. law enforcement is a very serious job. the community is dependent on us for safety. so smoke and mirror that is dedicated solely are for misdirecting issues or political agendas is never acceptable. as i spoke of before we had 400 cases of crimes against children that were not properly investigated. at the same time my predecessor created a squad that was specifically designed to investigate and attack political adverses. he had sent people to hawaii to investigate the birther investigation.
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at the same time we had patrol division that is were understaffed or challenged with every day investigations without having enough deputies on the street to keep them safe. so we have to be fundamentally sound. politics has no place in law enforcement. at the end of the day this community expects we're going to be the stable force that no matter who you are what you look like where you come from that our job is to keep you safe and to enforce the laws based off of behaviors and not off the color of the skin or any of the other factors. it was time to remove the nonsense from the office and get back to a stable legitimate law enforcement agency that was professional ethical and led with integrity. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight, sheriff we appreciate it. >> my honor sir thank you. >> tonight's last word is next. a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom?
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houston police chief described a conversation he had the widow of houston police sergeant steve perez who was publicly announced as one of the fatalities in hurricane harvey today. >> i told his wife, let me ask me something ma'am you're a person of faith if the lord is going to take him today how do you think he would want to go laying in bed watching a disaster or doing what he has done for 34 years. and the smile that overcame that woman's face, his beautiful wife said it all. if it was his turn to go she said,s in the way he would have
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wanted to go. >> houston police chief gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour" starts now. tonight, donald trump visits flood ravaged texas and while i described harvey ago having epic proportions the president fails to mention the victims of the storm, more does he see any damage close-up. plus new reports of subpoenas in russia investigation. special counsel robert mueller reportedly serves a spokesman for paul manafort. irchlts and troubling new numbers for the president from members of his own. the 11th hour rgs begins now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm in for brian williams. day 222 of the trump administration ends with the president back at the white


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